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icody
05-22-2010, 01:54 PM
Anyone have an idea of where I can get a Bolt on Ladder Bar setup for a 57 Chevy. I like the lakewood style lader bar but they are either for Coil Spring cars or Bolt on for 79 -81 Chevy / Pontiac. Do you think the Bolt on one will fit a 57 chevy?

Anyone have a Ladder Bar that bolts one that will work on a 57 Chevy. Want one for the rear to get that Gasser look in the rear!

Any ideas??? What are others using? Pictures?

hotrodg726
05-22-2010, 03:36 PM
hello, I would like to suggest that you buy a good set of ladder bars that use weld in brackets then add housing floaters or coil over shocks .the bolt on ones look cool but make your car ride like crap and actually hurt traction . they put the suspension in a bind and then it doen't work correctly .just my 2 cents :eek:

2Loose
05-23-2010, 04:32 PM
He's correct, you need to allow the axle housing to "float" on the leaf springs with ladder bars. I saw one setup that installed some heavy duty shackles between the axle and a pair of leaf spring clamps that worked pretty well. I went on a ride in that car and it worked well as far as I could tell. The movement of the axle with regard to the ladder bars is different then the movement with regard to the leaf springs, resulting in conflict (binding!) unless you free up the axle from the leaf springs in some way, the sliders are the most common, but I've been wanting to try that shackle method myself some day, it seemed pretty slick! And I much prefer a ladder bar weld-on setup at the axle to a bolt on, there are a lot of forces in action back there, it should be set up as solidly as you can get it.

On my present setup I ended up pulling out the leafs and putting in coil-overs and a panhard bar, no problem that way!
Aloha,
Willy

icody
05-23-2010, 06:23 PM
I am after the look more than the functionality! I doubt that I will be burning much Rubber or taking my 57 Gasser to the track! So was hoping to find a set that I could bolt on to give me that ladder bar Gasser look in the rear.
Any Ideas??

Not sure what is meant by a Floater in the rear??? Any one have a picture??

hotrodg726
05-23-2010, 07:14 PM
Even though you may only be going for the look it will ride like a brick, all bound up, you will be cursing it after the first reasonble length trip. you could install caltracs and get kind of the same look and every thing will still work properly. just my 2 cent

icody
05-23-2010, 10:57 PM
This is what is currently on the 57 now..not sure who maks them but not a great ride and Not a fan of the direct clamp to the leaf spring. I am replacing the rear leafs with a set I got from ebay (5 pack leaf with a 3 inch re-arch over stock built in). Do not want to use these again so also bought new shock mounts and ublots. So looking for something different.

http://img88.imageshack.us/img88/6494/dsc0058u.jpg

http://img31.imageshack.us/img31/2073/dsc0067uc.jpg

2Loose
05-24-2010, 01:58 AM
.....Not sure what is meant by a Floater in the rear??? A steel box with rollers that is bolted in place on the leaf springs and welded to the axle in such a way that the end of the ladder bars back at the axle allows the axle housing to articulate while the box and rollers roll back and forth on the leaf springs so there is no binding. No, I don't have a pix for you, but please take my word for it that binding will occur if allowances are not made for it.

Your photos show a clamped spring setup that makes the springs more rigid and acts like a solid link allowing a stiffer suspension and no spring wrap-up on a launch, old style, didn't work all that well most of the time, much better stuff around today, like the Caltraks advised above, which I have and will put on my 55 hardtop (another project)!

You could put the bolt on ladder bars on and instead of fastening the front of the ladder bars solidly to the frame, you could put a 2" to 3" shackle (pivoting link) from the frame to the front of the ladder bars to get the look you are after. This would allow the front of the ladder bars to articulate in such a way that the movement of the axle housing and the leaf springs would not bind with the ladder bars, but you would achieve the look. There might still be some sort of interference, but the main problem would be eliminated, as the ladder bars would be able to articulate forward and backward to allow the leaf springs to move through their arc. The plane of the axle housing flange where it bolts to the leaf springs would be more limited than it usually is though, which would probably result in a slightly stiffer ride, I can't predict how much stiffer at this point, but certainly not like if you bolted it solidly at the front of the ladder bars.

The sliders are proven and have been around for a long time. Keep asking and you might find a setup. But I would strongly advise against just bolting it in solidly, you will not like the results, and the car could behave dangerously.

I too like the looks of ladder bars, but I prefer to set them up properly and use their benefits for the launch....

icody
05-24-2010, 08:31 AM
2Loose,
Thanks for the explanation on the Floaters. Sounds like I will either go with them or the Caltracs. I used to race a 1969 SC/Rambler and has a set of Caltracs on them. They would really allow the car to hook up!

bill1788
05-24-2010, 11:54 AM
I am after the look more than the functionality! I doubt that I will be burning much Rubber or taking my 57 Gasser to the track! So was hoping to find a set that I could bolt on to give me that ladder bar Gasser look in the rear.
Any Ideas??

Not sure what is meant by a Floater in the rear??? Any one have a picture??

Nickey chicago has the latter bars you are looking for. They also have the straight axle kits to.

rj57
05-24-2010, 12:31 PM
He's correct, you need to allow the axle housing to "float" on the leaf springs with ladder bars. I saw one setup that installed some heavy duty shackles between the axle and a pair of leaf spring clamps that worked pretty well. I went on a ride in that car and it worked well as far as I could tell. The movement of the axle with regard to the ladder bars is different then the movement with regard to the leaf springs, resulting in conflict (binding!) unless you free up the axle from the leaf springs in some way, the sliders are the most common, but I've been wanting to try that shackle method myself some day, it seemed pretty slick! And I much prefer a ladder bar weld-on setup at the axle to a bolt on, there are a lot of forces in action back there, it should be set up as solidly as you can get it.

On my present setup I ended up pulling out the leafs and putting in coil-overs and a panhard bar, no problem that way!
Aloha,
Willy

I remember back in the 1980s when other members of our former area Classic Chevy club were doing the extended spindles to their cars. A couple of them made their own ladder bars. They bought a piece of tubing just slightly larger then the tubes on the rear housing. This tubing was split lengthwise. Then brackets were made and welded to the split tubing - so the tubing could now be bolted over the rear housing tubes and clamped down. The ladder part of the bar was then welded to one of the split tubes then brackets made so the bars could be bolted to the frame, if I remember, close to a point where the back of the car door would be on the body.

Of course all these cars with the extended spindles had the rear housing flipped under the leaf springs. To keep as close to stock ride as possible.

But I rode in one of them. The ride wasn't that bad.

MT94SS
05-24-2010, 01:53 PM
2Loose,
Thanks for the explanation on the Floaters. Sounds like I will either go with them or the Caltracs. I used to race a 1969 SC/Rambler and has a set of Caltracs on them. They would really allow the car to hook up!


icody,

I just installed the Cal-Tracs and they were very easy to install. My car isn't finished yet, so I haven't adjusted them yet. Some people complain about the ride or noise, but with loud pipes and a straight axle I'm sure that I won't notice.:happy0030:

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3381/4635770157_690ab2732a_o.jpg

It's not a 'traditional' gasser look, but unless you are building a period correct piece it will work great. They do look tough hanging down there! I moved my leafs under the frame and the leafs are stock '55 units.

grumpster
10-23-2011, 10:59 AM
Nickey chicago has the latter bars you are looking for. They also have the straight axle kits to.

THEY SURE DO- AT 625.00 A SET & 75.00 SHIPPING --- I MAKE THE SAME KIND WITHOUT THE BADGES FOR 325.00 AND ALOT LESS SHIPPING.
THANKS,
GRUMPSTER
bowtie-trifive

55mike
10-23-2011, 11:15 AM
I installed CalTracs last year after running several different combinations of traction/wheel hop control bars. At one time I had Lakewood slapper bars, that worked "ok" but looked terrible, then I used SSM (South Side Machine) bars which are now available from Jegs as under there own name, I tried the traction master style bars that all of the trifive vendors sell (they simply don't work).

At the end of the day, Caltracs are no question the very best I found. They are adjustable so I don't even feel them. I've also never heard any noises from them at all. As far as performance, they WORK. There is absolutely no wheel hop, the car just plants and goes. They are an American made, well designed, simple yet well engineered product.

http://i186.photobucket.com/albums/x232/mikeoatman/002-1.jpg

grumpster
10-23-2011, 11:15 AM
THAT IS CORRECT FOR $625.00 A SET + $75.00 SHIPPING - I MAKE THE SAME KIND FOR 325.00 + ALOT LESS SHIPPING...CHECK OUT GASSER LADDER BARS ON EBAY.

THANKS, GRUMPSTER
skippy17@ptd.net

56owner
10-23-2011, 12:39 PM
Don't know if this is the style you are looking for but we sold these to several customers 35 years ago.
http://www.competitionengineering.com/catalog/CategoryDisplay.asp?CatCode=11002

:anim_25:

jasonspd
10-23-2011, 01:07 PM
I've had lakewood traction bars on the '56 and my '69 Camaro for more than twenty years. They work well. No ride quality issues at all. The '56 was pitching driveshafts under loads, the traction bars cleared that right up. This is the best pic I have on this computer. Jason

:anim_25:

http://www.summitracing.com/parts/LAK-20470/

hddude
10-23-2011, 06:04 PM
just this morning, flipping around e-bay, some guy makes `em, 40, 44, 48, 52 inches long. they look great.

grumpster
10-24-2011, 10:01 AM
I can make you some... skippy17@prtd.net

grumpster
10-24-2011, 10:04 AM
I'am that guy that sells them on ebay , I sell them up to 60" or what ever you need...Thank for your help sir..!

hddude
10-24-2011, 08:13 PM
wow! is`nt that funny! i`m thinking about them. :tu:tu

Rick_L
10-24-2011, 08:23 PM
Mounting the ladder bars with a slider or rocker only takes the bind out of the vertical motion of the suspension.

The suspension still binds when the body tries to roll on the suspension, such as when you turn a corner or even have a torque reaction. What this means is that the car will still ride badly, and it will handle badly too. With this setup, the inside tire tends to lift off the pavement, or the driver side tire tries to lift when accelerating.

Smokinbill
10-24-2011, 10:16 PM
I got Lakewood's on our nova with over arched 2" multi-leaf springs. summitracing.com brand new cheap no tax to your door vintage look
http://i376.photobucket.com/albums/oo210/smokinb35/64%20Nova%20Build/DSCN3571.jpg

grumpster
10-25-2011, 06:39 AM
I CAN MAKE THE SAME LADDER BARS AS - Nickey chicago - FOR 1/2 THE PRICE AND LESS SHIPPING ... THANKS.
GRUMPSTER
skippy17@ptd.net

grumpster
10-30-2011, 12:47 PM
check out ebay their are some cool bolt-on ones on there forsale.

grumpster
10-30-2011, 12:49 PM
Anyone have an idea of where I can get a Bolt on Ladder Bar setup for a 57 Chevy. I like the lakewood style lader bar but they are either for Coil Spring cars or Bolt on for 79 -81 Chevy / Pontiac. Do you think the Bolt on one will fit a 57 chevy?

Anyone have a Ladder Bar that bolts one that will work on a 57 Chevy. Want one for the rear to get that Gasser look in the rear!

Any ideas??? What are others using? Pictures?
check out ebay their are some cool bolt-on ones on there forsale.

hddude
10-31-2011, 02:37 PM
grumpster, no problem. that`s what we do here.

1971BB427
11-02-2011, 03:20 PM
I got Lakewood's on our nova with over arched 2" multi-leaf springs. summitracing.com brand new cheap no tax to your door vintage look
http://i376.photobucket.com/albums/oo210/smokinb35/64%20Nova%20Build/DSCN3571.jpg

How long ago did you buy those? They aren't what Lakewood makes or sells now. The latest versions use a U bolt to attach to the axle, not that cool 4 bolt bracket you've got. I just bought a pair from Summit a couple months ago, and mine use U bolts.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v691/marlinguy/DSCF3065.jpg

Eljay 56
01-22-2012, 10:40 AM
Looks like your busted Grumpster, bye bye.

Smokinbill
01-22-2012, 12:54 PM
How long ago did you buy those? They aren't what Lakewood makes or sells now. The latest versions use a U bolt to attach to the axle, not that cool 4 bolt bracket you've got. I just bought a pair from Summit a couple months ago, and mine use U bolts.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v691/marlinguy/DSCF3065.jpg

Yep those are the old Lakewood bars for a coil spring chevelle. I cut the shock/trailing arm mount off and just rely on the clamps to hold the axle tubes from twisting, So far So good. The one at summit look just like mine from the pictures
http://i376.photobucket.com/albums/oo210/smokinb35/64%20Nova%20Build/DSCN3574.jpg

Booty
01-22-2012, 01:26 PM
found this very interesting....



http://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/showthread.php?t=663683

WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

finn210
01-22-2012, 01:35 PM
WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Oh Crap! those are scary!! :p3:

crankshaft
01-22-2012, 01:47 PM
Do yourself a favor and get the Caltracs for about $340.00. The are worth the money. I installed them on my 57 last month and I can tell you for sure they work. Tech support is excellent. :anim_25:

Booty
01-22-2012, 01:58 PM
Do yourself a favor and get the Caltracs for about $340.00. The are worth the money. I installed them on my 57 last month and I can tell you for sure they work. Tech support is excellent. :anim_25:

I second this motion!! My buddy has them on his '55 Gasser and they do WORK!!

mac-55
01-22-2012, 08:13 PM
i think the caltracs are the route im going to take... I just read that HAMB thread about ole grumpsters ladder bars ha ha ha , No thanks grumpster.

icody
01-23-2012, 12:57 AM
I added the Caltraks to my 57 and love the look and most important I like the way it hooks!!!

airmentbob
01-25-2012, 01:31 AM
cal tracs are good.

Str8axle
01-25-2012, 11:18 AM
I'm running SSM Bars on my 55. No complaints. Car sees mostly street duty with an occasional track night. Got a screaming deal on them and they were NOS.
Just read that thread on the HAMB. That's a sad state of affairs going on there....

djordan12
02-01-2012, 12:05 AM
me & a buddy made mine. not that hard & a lot of fun. 49921

49922

49923

airmentbob
08-02-2012, 01:27 AM
to the originator of this post good luck with your set up, which ever way you go.

vice323
08-02-2012, 05:17 AM
found this very interesting....



http://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/showthread.php?t=663683

Thanks for posting the link. I just had a great laugh reading the posts. :sign0020:

Nickey Chicago
11-27-2012, 11:52 PM
THEY SURE DO- AT 625.00 A SET & 75.00 SHIPPING --- I MAKE THE SAME KIND WITHOUT THE BADGES FOR 325.00 AND ALOT LESS SHIPPING.
THANKS,
GRUMPSTER
bowtie-trifive

You usually get what you pay for! Our parts / components are competitively priced for hand made parts, by experienced fabricators / racers right here in the good old USA.

We use what we sell/make on our own personal cars and all of our parts are backed by over 30 years of our solid reputation.

If you are not satisfied with something that you purchase from NicKey Chicago, just return it to us as delivered, for a full refund.

airmentbob
11-28-2012, 12:27 AM
rick is right, ladder bars don't allow the suspension to move independently like leaf springs do. ladder bars are not good for road racing. cal tracs work magic against wheel hop. never had wheel hop after i installed some.

icody
11-28-2012, 12:47 PM
Also have the Caltracs on my 57 Gasser and love the way they hook. The ride is nice as well. Ok...as nice as a Gasser can be..LOL

Skip17
12-12-2013, 10:39 AM
Hello, I'am new here to the site. I just seen your question and I thought I would let you know I saw some gasser ladder bars on ebay. They looked very well built for the money. Well I just wanted to pass this on. Good Luck in your search.

:anim_25:

icody
12-12-2013, 05:04 PM
Hello, I'am new here to the site. I just seen your question and I thought I would let you know I saw some gasser ladder bars on ebay. They looked very well built for the money. Well I just wanted to pass this on. Good Luck in your search.

:anim_25:

I started the Thread..I have decided to just stay with the Cal Track Bars as they seem to really work well!

Dragsix
12-12-2013, 06:28 PM
I think that guy is still on ebay as turbo_dude55.

hddude
12-12-2013, 09:31 PM
yea, ain`t worth SH**, when it comes to suspension. BUT, they look DAMN good!

1971BB427
12-23-2013, 07:00 PM
I built the ladder bars for my car, and used adjustable brackets welded to the axle tube to allow height adjustment. But after driving it all summer and making some passes, I found it worked OK on the strip, but too stiff on the street. I decided to re-engineer them over the winter, and finished them up today.
The axle mount and adjustable bracket remained the same, but I modified the upper and lower tubes to allow for movement, and adjustment. On the lower tube I installed a 3/4 solid heim, with inline adjuster. On the front I already had heims, so nothing changed there.
In the upper tube I turned down a piece of heavy wall pipe about 20" long to just slide snug inside the top tube. Then I welded ears on the end to bolt the slider to the axle bracket. Once I got them painted up I set my suspension height, and mounted the ladder bars. Then loctited all the bolts and locknuts on the adjusters, after setting it down on the ground to get ride height.
I haven't driven it yet, but just pushing down on the bumper tells me it's not binding, and I think they will work out much better!
http://www.hunt101.com/data/500/medium/DSCF4027.JPG

cktasto
12-23-2013, 07:53 PM
Val,
any more pictures of what your describing on the top bar? It sounds like the pipe you turned down just floats snuggly inside the upper bar?
I'm starting on my ladder bars Thursday, hope to be welding them up Friday or Saturday.
thanks and a Merry Christmas to everyone!

Charlie

1971BB427
12-23-2013, 08:01 PM
Val,
any more pictures of what your describing on the top bar? It sounds like the pipe you turned down just floats snuggly inside the upper bar?
I'm starting on my ladder bars Thursday, hope to be welding them up Friday or Saturday.
thanks and a Merry Christmas to everyone!

Charlie

I went out and took a better picture with my flash Charlie. The top tube slides inside the ladder bar. Snug enough that I greased it before sliding it in. I doubt it will move in/out very little, but it will move enough to avoid binding.

http://www.hunt101.com/data/500/medium/DSCF4028.JPG

Moon Rocket
12-23-2013, 11:02 PM
I'm sure the above arrangements will look fine and work OK for the street, but for what it's worth, I would be very cautious making hard launches with power. It wouldn't be hard for one of the slide points to pinch or bind causing the car to pull hard to the left or right.

I know a tight suspension car rides stiff, but they also launch straight as an arrow every time.

1971BB427
12-24-2013, 01:00 AM
I'm sure the above arrangements will look fine and work OK for the street, but for what it's worth, I would be very cautious making hard launches with power. It wouldn't be hard for one of the slide points to pinch or bind causing the car to pull hard to the left or right.

I know a tight suspension car rides stiff, but they also launch straight as an arrow every time.

I can't see how the slide on top could pinch or bind? Under soft or hard launch the upper tube is not under pressure. The pinion tries to rise in an arc under launch, so the upper slide arrangement is sliding out, not under pressure.
I have confidence in it, but I guess we'll see.

cktasto
12-26-2013, 11:45 AM
thanks for the pic Val! i took a couple days off but this morning i'm cutting, bending, tapping, and fishmouthing tubes for my ladder bars. I think you mentioned using blocks of wood nailed down to plywood to hold everything in place while you welded up the parts...does that sound right?

1971BB427
12-26-2013, 05:35 PM
Yes Charlie, I used blocks screwed to a sheet of plywood. I laid out the first bar's shape, then screwed the blocks on either side of the top and bottom tubes. That held it while I tacked them. Then I cut and fit the cross pieces and put a block on one side of them once I tacked the first ladder bar.
After that I lifted the first one out and tacked the other side at all the joints and set it aside. Then I just dropped all the pieces into place for the 2nd ladder bar and tacked it all.
Took a little more time this way, but I got two ladder bars that are identical this way.

cktasto
12-26-2013, 08:56 PM
Thanks Val, as usual i didnt get as much done today as I would've like to, but this'll give me some time to scrounge up some plywood and make some small blocks.